Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Last season, my daughter's CYO school team made it to the final four of the Cincinnati city championship. They were one point from advancing to the finals. (I still think that my daughter was fouled on a last second shot, but I have completely forgotten about that as you can tell). I was thrilled with the season, the team and the coaching staff, as such, I wanted my daughter to have the same coaches again this year.
Over the summer, the assistant coach for the team moved out of the city, so I called the head coach and volunteered to be the assistant coach. My main motivation was to keep my daughter on his team. He was thrilled to have his point guard locked up prior to the draft and accepted me into his coaching realm.
For the first couple of practices and games, I didn't want to overstep my bounds and I was too passive. In fact, I found myself on the bench spectating. Last week, the coach was not available for a practice and so I ran it. I worked the entire night before planning every minute of practice like I used to do when I coached soccer. I developed a plan to work on some issues that were exposed in a recent loss. The biggest issues were in-bounds plays, maintaining the dribble under pressure and free throws.
I put in two inbounds plays the girls affectionately call Banana and Hot Dog. I had the girls Run The Gauntlet. And I had the girls shoot free throws under pressure. The pressure was intense because each miss resulted in an up and back sprint.
The Main Point
By coaching alone, I was able to establish myself with the team. I kept the head coach in the loop by sharing my practice plan before the practice and followed up with a recap. I gained confidence and he gained confidence in me. The coach invited me to meet for a beer and strategy session. We worked together on a line-up and established our game plan for the next game against an undefeated team.
We won that game when my daughter hit a wide open 12 foot jumper in the final minute off of the Banana inbounds play. I was now in the fray.